Tax Assessor-Collector Found Guilty of Hit and Run, LIVINGSTON, September 15, 2017 - On September 15, 2017 following a bench trial in the Polk County Court at Law, visiting Judge Mary Ann Turner of Montgomery County found Polk County Tax Assessor-Collector Leslie Jones Burks guilty of hit and run. Burks was previously charged with two misdemeanor cases and arrested in April of 2017 following an incident occurring the same day in which a vehicle operated by Burks left a Livingston street, struck a parked vehicle and ran over a mailbox before leaving the scene. The investigation by the Livingston Police Department showed that following the initial collision, Burks drove away on the wrong side of the road causing an oncoming vehicle to take evasive action. Nearly two hours later, Burks reportedly returned to the scene and informed the owners of the damaged vehicle and the mailbox that the accident was caused in part by medication she had taken. However, law enforcement authorities say she later told them that she had become distracted. The incident was captured on surveillance video and there was at least one eyewitness. Polk County Assistant District Attorney Tommy L. Coleman, who prosecuted the case, had previously filed a motion with the judge to modify the conditions of Burks’ bond after Burks was involved in another motor vehicle accident on July 22, 2017. According to investigators, the July 22nd incident was again the result of Burks’ vehicle leaving the roadway. The roadway this time was Highway 59. The vehicle rolled before coming to a stop, trapping Burks and a thirteen year old passenger inside. First responders used extrication equipment to cut Burks out of the vehicle. The passenger was flown to a Houston hospital by air ambulance. Following a hearing, the visiting judge modified Burks’ bond conditions to prohibit her from driving during the pendency of the cases. Prior to trial, the prosecution provided Burks’ counsel with notice that during the punishment phase of the trial, evidence would be presented of a number of prior motor vehicle accidents involving Burks, including an accident occurring on January 25, 2016 in which a vehicle driven by Burks reportedly left the roadway (US-146), crossed through oncoming traffic, struck an embankment, went airborne and rolled. Following that accident, extrication equipment was used to cut Burks out of the vehicle before she was transported to a local hospital. The notice added that on June 17, 2014, Burks’ vehicle reportedly left Highway 59 and struck a highway sign. Burks told authorities at the time that another vehicle cut her off and fled the scene. The notice also described for the court another Burks’ accident occurring on May 20, 2003 in which investigators said her vehicle left Highway 190 and traveled through a ditch before striking some trees. Burks told investigators that she passed out. “These multiple accidents Burks has had over the last few months and years give rise to a serious concern that Burks is a danger to herself and others if she continues to drive,” stated Coleman. Following the announcement of the guilty verdict by the judge but prior to a sentencing hearing, the defense and prosecution entered into an agreed punishment which was approved by the judge. Pursuant to the agreement, Turner ordered that Burks be placed on probation for a period of twelve months. Among the conditions of her probation include a requirement that she perform 48 hours of community service, pay a fine of $1,250.00 and refrain from the operation of a motor vehicle. Burks originally faced a misdemeanor punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.00 with probation eligibility for each charge.
Stop having to buy new tires every six months! FIX IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!
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